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Portfolios are almost a necessity to bring to a job interview, especially for a job where creativity is essential. They are a great way to show off talents and achievements and can include things such as writing samples, web designs, photography, brochures, awards, letters of recommendation and more.
The book portfolio is one of the most common types of portfolios. It’s easy because it’s tangible, you can bring it with you and employers can just turn the page at their leisure.
While it is nice to have a portfolio at an interview, just remember to never leave it with the potential employer, especially if those are the only copies of the works in the portfolio.
The book portfolio is good to keep track of works, but it’s easiest in an interview for something visual, such as website design or photography. Of course, writing samples can be included, but it’s hard for an employer to sit and read through the entire portfolio while you sit and watch them. In those cases, it’s also recommended to have an online portfolio.
An online portfolio can be done on any type of website, such as weebly.com or wordpress.com. Some people even design their own in Dreamweaver, which is especially recommended if applying for a design job.
As stated above, it’s easier for a potential employer to sit and read through every piece on the online portfolio and truly analyze it to their liking if they have time on their own to do it. Sitting with the person could add pressure and there’s not exactly time to do more than skim through the stories quick or look over the design.
Online portfolios can be used for any field, and while it’s especially recommended for writing candidates, it is also recommended to have both kinds of portfolios, just in case a visual boss wants more time to look over visual works as well.
Just be careful not to include personal information, such as address and phone number, because if it’s online anyone has access to it.
A PDF portfolio is an easy way to send a digital copy of all the works. They are attached in an email and usually sent by the request of the employer.
It doesn’t matter which type of portfolio is used or if more than one is presented, the most important part is the work inside of it.
How To Put it Together
All portfolios should include
- A copy of resume and references
- letters of recommendation
- Academic awards
- any copies of positive performance evaluations
- and, of course, work to be presented
Pick out 15-20 of the top pieces to be presented and organize them chronologically, by subject or even by learning outcome, just make sure it starts with the absolute best pieces. Only include the work that will best represent you and the talents you can bring to the job. Caption each page, whether it is a picture or a news story, stating what the piece was for and the date it was published. Make sure the captioning of the pictures and the general layout of the portfolio is consistent.
Put them all in page protectors and slip them into a three ring binder or a fancy leather one (the choice is yours) and include dividers if you’d prefer the topics to be separated.
Don’t forget, portfolios are a work in progress. They are meant to be updated as the jobs and tasks change, so be sure to constantly be changing out the works so it stays up-to-date.